I’ve spoken about the energy of language before on social media, and this idea comes up constantly in private client sessions. Recently, it came up in a dowsing workshop I taught, when someone asked these questions:
Why do words carry so much power?
How does intention affect how our words are felt and experienced?
Such good juicy questions! The questions themselves, as well as the group discussion, reiterated for me why it’s so important for us to have practices that pay attention to the language of the body - it has so many messages for us.
Reading the body through somatic practice
In the level one dowsing workshop, we explore how we read the language of the body, and somatic sensing in the body, through physical experiences, sensations, sounds, and words.
Read more about the practice of dowsing in this blog post, Tuning Your Instrument: Divine Dowsing
I guided students through some intuitive, somatic based experiences to help them sense and feel in their body what their inner guidance is saying - whether it feels good or not, whether they are getting the signals of yes and no.
I invited everyone to reflect on how their own thoughts make them feel.
I posed the question to the group, Does language have energy?
My response: YES!! Our use of words holds a conscious, and often unconscious, energetic imprinting that is immediately felt by the recipient of our words, including us through our self-talk!
When you have a thought that is out of alignment with love, it won’t feel good in the body - you will notice that, though it may be subtle.
The intention behind language is everything
When someone else says something to you in a joking tone, but the intention is out of alignment with love, it will be felt.
Intention is important in everything that we do. We can use words that are associated with loving sentiment, but if we don’t intend them that way - and our intention is actually to hurt, deceive, or betray - this will also be felt.
A parent might joke with their child, but say something that could be taken to heart very deeply.
Maybe it’s not meant intentionally to land in a negative way but it does, and creates an imprinting, resulting often in an unconscious pattern and felt judgment by the child. This leaves the child feeling poorly about themselves in some distinct way e.g. I am bad; I am wrong; I am stupid; I am foolish.
Things like age, cultural background, and traumatic experiences also factor into how words and the energy behind them are experienced.
It is so extremely important that we remain conscious and aware of how the energy of what we’re saying might land for someone else.
If it doesn’t feel okay, it typically isn’t
If something is being said to you, and it doesn't feel okay, it typically isn't.
It could be that there's something within you that's getting triggered. And it is okay to say, “You know what, this doesn't really feel good to me right now, the way that you're saying that,” and it may give you the opportunity to take ownership of that. Reframe your statement to reflect that ownership, and say “ Wow, I feel really triggered/activated/angry/sad when you say that - I need a minute to see what that’s about.”
When I experience someone saying something that doesn’t feel good to me, I give myself a minute.
I need to be able to check in with myself - am I having an emotional reaction to words that have been used towards, or against, me before? From childhood, or any previous negative experience.
I need to check in with what their intention is, like what is it that they actually mean? Do they mean what they are saying? What is the tone communicating to me?
We all know how strongly words can impact us.
When we speak, we cast spells
What do we call the act of putting letters together to make words? S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G. The root word is spell. This takes us back to more ancient ancestral roots to the concept of being able to cast a spell.
For a little clarification on etymology, here’s an excerpt from Merriam Webster:
“In Middle English, spell meant "to mean" or "to signify," which probably developed from Anglo-French espelier, itself from Middle High German spellen, meaning "to relate" or "to talk." This spell, in modern English, then came to mean "to read slowly (letter by letter)."
Spell referring to magic incantation is of different origin. That word is strictly Germanic (from the noun spel) and refers to talk, storytelling, gossip, and a sermon. It also is the derivative of gospel (which translates to "good tale") and is the source for the magical power and enchantment senses of spell. English poet Edmund Spenser ties those senses of the word together in his epic poem The Faerie Queene (1590):
‘Spell is a kind of verse or charm, that in elder times they used often to say over everything that they would have preserved: as the night-spell for thieves, and the wood-spell. And here-hence, I thinke, is named the Gospel, or Word.’”
History and how it's been formed through the patriarchy in the Western world anyway, can take us into the whole debate and dialogue about witchcraft and white witches and black witches and casting spells for good and not for good.
If we call the creation of our words spelling, that comes from a pretty potent route, that our words have the impact to cast an energy upon someone else, or upon ourselves!
So pay attention to what you’re spelling - and the word spelling is an action verb. There's an action associated with our words, connected to our intent.
Are your intentions and words aligned
The things we say to ourselves and what we say to others are spells - we are creating an intention with our words.
Are those intentions heart based and love based?
Are they aligned?
We all say things, of course, when we're out of alignment, when we’re angry, struggling, being stuck in our ego state as humans, that we don’t necessarily mean.
This isn't meant to add a bucket load of shame on top of all the times our words have hurt others - words that we know weren't received well or that we may have even said intentionally, harmfully, because we were absorbed in a part of our shadow self.
This is about becoming more aware and moving forward with more awareness, love and intention.
In a dowsing workshop, we’re seeking information through this tool, through this practice, through this act - the intention you set is incredibly important, and having reverence for what you're doing. Just as it is with our use of language.
Some pause for reflection, and I think that's wonderful because that's what we need to do in order to grow our perceptions, expand our consciousness, and expand the heart consciousness. This in turn changes our lives in positive ways!
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